January is commonly the longest month that salaried employees have to cope before a pay day occurs. It is also the month we make resolutions, so it is natural that personal finances tend to be high on the list.
If you want to get fit, you might join a club or sign up to an online fitness plan and start to build up your training. Finances are no different – it takes effort and there are many online resources that could be your ‘club’. Being financially sound is not about how much money you have; it is about making the best use of what you have, and the continual learning you undertake and put into practice.
In these exceptional times, we are facing real issues with people worrying about pensions and investments, market conditions and lower incomes. However, there are three simple, basic steps we can all take to help us to improve our financial fitness – and there is no time like the present to start planning.
It does not matter how much money you have or how much you earn, if you do not have any plan in place then you are unable to properly plan ahead. All it takes is a spreadsheet or a budgeting app and you can start to take control.
Many UK workers do not have anything to fall back on should the worst happen, and the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation is opening our eyes to this. Most are still moving from payday to payday without putting anything aside for future emergency use. There are many opinions on how much you need, but it starts with having an element of savings in your monthly budget.
This one is always counterintuitive, as we naturally worry when things start to get out of control or if we experience any financial difficulties. Rest assured, there are ALWAYS solutions to every financial problem that you might have. If it is debt, there are charities and Citizens Advice with multiple solutions; if it is income then your employer and your local council could help. If you are looking for advice on savings and investments contact advisers or your bank for help finding a solution. If you put your hand up, you will find help is out there.
So, having financial wellbeing as our New Year’s resolution is not hard; like all resolutions it just means we need to spend time and effort to make things better for ourselves. Taking time to manage our income and expenses and starting the savings journey will help greatly with our financial security. Seeking help is essential – we all need a helping hand from time to time.